Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Concerns When Remodeling

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Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Concerns When Remodeling


Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Concerns When Remodeling

Remodeling your home is a smart idea, but without careful planning, it can lead to health problems and expensive mistakes.

HVAC is all about heating, cooling, and ventilation. Regardless of the type of remodeling project you are planning for, you want to remember indoor air quality and ventilation best practices in order to avoid things like volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the dispersion of harmful building products and allergens, such as silica dust.

When remodeling your bathroom, kitchen, basement, or attic, it’s important to minimize the amount of indoor air pollution and reduce the chances of ventilation and other problems further down the line.

  1. Schedule ventilation inspection

When remodeling the area where your HVAC system and water heater are housed, keep in mind that they need air and ventilation for combustion. Never enclose them in a small space.

Always consult a professional HVAC technician when conducting any remodeling projects around your heating, air conditioning, water heating, or any other fuel-burning appliance.

  1. Ensure generator safety

All fuel-burning appliances generate carbon monoxide. In addition to making sure your HVAC system, fireplace, and water heater have proper ventilation to the outdoors, you want to do the same for your generator (if you have one).

Since your renovation may require the use of a standby generator, make sure you follow these generator safety guidelines:

  1. Look out for sources and causes of problems

Whenever you undertake a remodeling project on your home, you will almost always uncover some hidden issue or problem that you never noticed before.

When you are repairing damaged walls and replacing electrical wiring, look for the underlying cause, such as rodents, miswiring, moisture problems, or a cracked pipe.

Before you add anything to the home, the first job is to repair the existing problem, such as roof leaks, structural damage, or improper ventilation. Otherwise, the problem will simply resurface down the line.

  1. Be careful when removing paint from homes built before 1978

You should assume that paint in home built before 1978 contains some lead. Lead-based paint is a harmful pollutant that can be extremely damaging to brains and nervous systems. Babies and young children are at a higher risk since they spend a lot of their time exploring and putting their fingers in their mouths.

If your home was built before 1978, we highly recommend checking your home’s painted surfaces for lead content. Lead is a dangerous substance that should be removed from your home as soon as possible

It’s also a good idea to test your home’s water supply for lead. Contact OnTime Service for professional testing of your home’s drinking water.

Before you renovate:

For more information on lead, how to protect your family, and finding Lead-Safe contractors, visit EPA’s Lead page.

  1. Measure moisture levels

You can test indoor moisture levels using a hygrometer. The ideal relative humidity (RH) level for your home should be between 30% and 50%. If your RH measurement is above or below this ideal range, ask your contractor to address the problem. This could mean sealing air leaks, repairing foundation issues, installing dehumidification systems, or improving ventilation levels.

There are also many visible symptoms of water problems, such as peeling wallpaper, mold/mildew stains, warped wood, and structural damage.

In order to keep your renovation healthy, ensure proper humidity levels and ventilation.

  1. Clean mold and mildew

If you notice any mold in the area you are about to renovate:

  1. Clean up the mold and get rid of excess moisture or water
  2. Fix plumbing problems and other sources of moisture infiltration
  3. Replace any absorbent materials that have gotten moldy.
  4. Clean off mold from hard surfaces with detergent and water. Dry the area completely.

If there are large areas of mold or microbial growth, contact a professional mold remediation specialist.

  1. Control dust and allergens

Remodeling almost always includes some sort of demolition process. This has the potential to cause a lot of dust, sawdust, and allergens. To minimize dust, use low-dust best practices:

While wetting surfaces to minimize dust can help, enclosures and ventilation best practices are best.


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We work with renovation contractors to repair or install plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, including ventilation and indoor air quality solutions.

Call OnTime Service at 205-942-1405 or contact us online for licensed technicians trained in new construction and remodeling.

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